The New Zealand Festival’s immersive experience Future Playground blurs the lines between audience and performers. The interactive show encourages audience members to get involved in five different digital installations.

Showcasing some of the most ingenious, boundary-pushing creative technology in the world, Future Playground is an immersive experience by several multimedia and digital artists from the United States, Canada, and Turkey.

Whether you’ve got two left feet or you’re a pro at cutting shapes on the d-floor, The Pop n’ Lock Dance Machine is not to be missed. Participants choose dances from many iconic moves like Gangnam Style and the creatures from Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video, select their back-up crew from the ever-growing catalogue of animated characters – then strike a pose! Created by multimedia artists Christopher Felske and Irene Angelopoulos, the dance machine creates performances using GIFs that will make you look like the flyest dancer in the room, no matter your skill level.

Two kilograms of white cotton yarn, some gaffer tape and a projector are all that have been used to create Lumarca, a mesmerising display of light, shape and movement created by American artists Matt Parker and Joshua Holtsford. While the materials used are simple, the effect is anything but, as digital projections make the the lengths of yarn come to life. Lumarca responds to movement, so people interacting and moving through the lengths of yarn will result in a different pattern of sound and colour.

Infinity Room by Turkish artist Refik Anadol will give visitors the experience of standing in a room and having the floor and walls drop away. The audio visual installation of light designs projected into a mirrored room will create infinite patterns as the visitors move around the space. The effect is best experienced lying on the floor – you’re surrounded by projections that will change the way you think and see things. You lose all sense of the space you’re in, giving you the feeling like you’re moving rather than the light projections.

NZ Festival Artistic Director, Shelagh Magadza, says Future Playground is a testament to how storytelling is evolving in the digital age.

“Subverting the traditional divisions between active performers and passive audiences, the interactive installations in Future Playground invite audiences to discard their roles as spectators and become participants in the art works; fully immersed, intrigued, and involved.”


Future Playground – part of New Zealand Festival
Thursday, 1 March – Sunday, 11 March, Shed 6, Wellington
Tickets – Adult $35, Child $17. Family passes available. Book fast